Monday, July 28, 2008

current obsession


No, it's not a person, nor something edible.

It's construction. Don't worry, I don't want to become a builder all of a sudden. I mean literary construction.


Whilst before I was interested in the million stories there were to be told, now the focus is on the million ways one story can be told. This, of course, takes a lot of time to plan. Not only does one need the ideas, but we need to imagine the best way for them to unfold: what comes first? should we start in the beginning, the middle or the end? is it okay to count on suspense the whole time or should we give the facts straight away? who tells the story?...


I'm especially fond of, when dealing with various main characters, let the story of Miss X be told by Miss Y. It may lose the subjectivity of Miss X's experience but it gains Miss Y.'s perspective, more context and so many more aspects of the relationship between the two characters. I know this may sound trivial if one doesn't write, but for me it's extremely entertaining, as cuckoo as it sounds.


This great interest in the construction appeared fairly recently to me. Until then most of my stories were told in the first person and following a past-present-future order. And, believe me, when the story is good it can worked magnificiently when told the simple way! But with this new awareness (that comes from reading a lot, I think), I feel like I found the real freedom of writing. I think that I might have more control over what I write, rather than having the story control me (which always happened). And perhaps one day I can come up with those fine novels that critics describe as "pieces of a puzzle", "Russian dolls", "various stories that lead up to same ending", etc, etc, perhaps I can become a master of construction. I'm working on that.

16 comments:

Vesper de Vil said...

literary construction is fun!

flash fiction is difficult, because the "construction" must be so precise.

Niall said...

I am amazed at the way a writer can draw me as a reader into a world that has been constructed in their imagination..how it then affects my thoughts and feelings and therefore becomes a part of my reality.Your journey is exciting...and I lookforwrd to reading what find!

Devil Mood said...

Vesper: That's absolutely right, it's like a detailed scientific experiment :)

Niall: Yes, how do they do it? :) I forgot to mention it but, of course, this construction is only aimed at creating that same involvement with the reader!

deepbluewater said...

are you talking pedreiros here? lol

Sigo a comparação entre construção arquitectonica e a construção literária, uma vez que ambas tem de ter cabeça, pés e membros.Claro que quanto mais detalhada for maior será o fascinio de quem está simplesmente observando ou lendo.

cat said...

isso fez-me lembrar aquela aula de modelos (que longe que isso já vai!)em que se falou na gramática generativa (tu sabes que eu adoro estas coisas ;) )...

Mas recordações à parte, estás a tornar-te uma escritora e mesmo que continues a achar que as tuas histórias "não têm interesse", o mais importante é que podem ter sido parte de uma aprendizagem... :)

Devil Mood said...

DeepBlueWater: Sim, lembrei-me dos pedreiros! Tens razão, tem que ser uma coisa sólida e com componentes interessantes ;)

Cat: Sim, isso parece-me que é verdade, acho que quanto mais escrever mais posso aprender por isso ainda bem que fui escrevendo. Não me estou a lembrar exactamente, a não ser que tenha sido na mesma altura que demos as narrativas (e acho que foi em CPDP mas vai dar tudo ao mesmo). É giro mas eu nem sequer estou a pensar nisto sob o ponto de vista psicológico senão tinha muito que pensar e teorizar...;)

A Fanciful Twist said...

I am certain you are on your way to becoming a master of construction!!!! Loove those stories that have different paths and end up the same!! Magical blog! ;)

Devil Mood said...

Hi Vanessa! Thanks for dropping by. I can only hope :)

missalister said...

It’s so neat that you found a door, opened it, and ho! there’s Freedom Of Writing! I wish my brain cells wanted to engage in literary construction like yours do. I’ve often experienced getting all balled up when I think too much about the mechanics of something at first, and then that something loses its fun. So thus far with writing I’ve only sat down with a vague idea and started typing. But I feel like I’m about to hit the wall, so at some point I’d like to take a class. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to being along with you as you explore this new obsession…maybe I’ll pick up some new stuff, too :-)

Devil Mood said...

MissAlister: If it so then you are extremely lucky :) I also used to just write, keeping plans to a minimum, but now that doesn't seem enough. I really think it's working for you because the natural way you're constructing makes reading effortless. But there's also a difference in the formats we're talking about.

murat11 said...

DM: There is a "simplicity" in the writing of first person narrative, and I am intrigued with your Miss X lensed through Miss Y puzzle. But, I would also say that I find a "simplicity" in third person narrative as well. (I should say that I do not mean the word simplicity in a derogatory way.) I've written two unpublished novels, the first in first person and the second in third person. The simplicity of first person lay in the kind of simple narrative progression you describe; the challenge for me in that book was to get out of the way of the simplicity as it unfolded and let my characters have voices I did not expect them to have. However, the ease I found in writing third person narrative in the latter book gave me a different take on the simplicity of the first book's narration, what at times felt like the tyranny of "I" in the mere structure of sentences, narrative reach, and accessibility of differing consciousness. Third person actually felt more luxurious, compared to the labors of I.

Of course, X lensed through Y could be a first person narrative in itself.

Best wishes on your constructive journey.

fb said...

Heh, somehow I can picture you pacing with one hand holding a book, the other hand with a finger pointing skywards ticking off each imaginary point as it comes to you.

Then some news about FC Porto comes on in the background and you have to tell yourself off and continue to concentrate on your concentration and construction.

Devil Mood said...

Hi Murat, thanks for commenting. It's really interesting to read about your evolution from 1st person to 3rd person. I absolutely agree that there's more freedom and possibility about the latter. There's only so much an "I" can say, no? :)
I suspect all the 'great writers' would tell us that simplicity (of the good kind) is the way to go, but what can I say? I want layers and a build-up right now. But I must say that I don't use the "Miss X through the eyes of Miss Y" strategy very often or it could get really complicated! It's only a way to make it more dinamic at times.

FB: hehe No, I'm rubbish at concentrating. I get willingly distracted by football-land. I still tell myself off but it's not worth it ;)

Miladysa said...

I wish you well DM and looking forward to reading your stories :-D

murat11 said...

One last thing: would it be okay with you to list LOVE IS and ASTRO SKIES on my blogroll? Absolutely no obligation to reciprocate.

Best to you.

Devil Mood said...

Miladysa: Thank you! :)

Murat11: Oh of course, I'd be honoured. Thank you very much. I have read your comment on my astrology site, it was much appreciated and I want to reply personally as soon as I can.